Vietnam frees dissident on appeal in show of leniency


HANOI — A Vietnamese appeals court overturned a six-year prison sentence against a dissident and halved the jail term of another in a rare show of leniency by the country’s Communist authorities.

Nguyen Phuong Uyen, 21, was convicted of violating national security laws in May for distributing leaflets against the Communist Party and sentenced to six years. The appeals court on Friday changed that sentence to a 3-year suspended one and released her. It halved the eight-year sentence against fellow activist, 25-year-old Dinh Nguyen Kha.

A lawyer who was in the court, Nguyen Thanh Luong, said judges cited their young age in the decision.

He said he believed it was the first time that an appeals court had freed someone convicted of a national security crime.